Wetherpoons recently added “Mexican Monday” to its daily themes.
Sadly, this isn’t a day when your local branch is run by sexually promiscuous border-hopping illegal immigrants – unless you’re in the Lincoln branch, of course.
They have simply cut the prices of their limited Mexican food offerings on a Monday.
Bethan is a fan of all things Mexican AND saving money, so this sounded just our sort of thing.
Plus, we thought supporting Mexican culture would annoy Donald Trump.
None of Wetherspoons themed days value innovation – “Steak Club” is steak, “Fish Friday” is fish. The clue’s in the name.
Similarly the “Mexican Monday” ignores the recent trend for gourmet Mexican food from the likes of Wahaca, and gives us the obvious choices.
Actually, it gives you even less than obvious choices – where’s the big bowl of hot chilli? I love a hot chilli.
Butif you’re happy with those options, the prices are incredible.
£5.39 with soft drink, or £6.39 with alcoholic drink is amazing, and makes the effective cost of the food just £4.
You can have Burrito, Nachos, “Naked Burrito” (what?) and Quesadilla, the first three with a choice of topping.
We’ve had the nachos before, and they weren’t good. The ‘tortilla chips’ were just bad crisps (“small, dry and taste of dust” – Bethan) with dull topping.
The less said about “Naked Burrito” – a Burrito without the tortilla – the better.
I’ve done low-carb diets, and they work.
But Wetherspoons Mexican Monday is no place for the low-carber – they should be at the cafe over the road having eggs, bacon & black coffee, not this abomination.
I ordered the normal Burrito.
Yer Mexican version is just meat & refried beans in a tortilla, but they’ve gone more American here.
The tortilla contains brown rice, cheese, red pepper, red onion, tomato and your choice of main filling – veggie chilli, chilli con carne, pulled pork or chicken breast.
(You can have these toppings with the Nachos and Naked Burrito too, and it’s good to see a veggie option.)
It comes with the underloved tortilla chips and dips.
The dips and crisps are nicely coloured, but look at that big, bland doughy slab of bread.
A lot of bread and crisps here – if you’re not asleep an hour after eating this you’re a strong person indeed.
It looks better split open and turned around.
There’s plenty of filling in there, but unfortunately, they’d run out of chilli (at 1pm on Mexican Monday) so I had the plain but generous chicken strips.
The red pepper and onion gave it a bit of bite, but what is rice doing in a meal with terrifying levels of carbohydrate?
Some more interesting beans would have been better.
The crisps and dip are OK – bland but colourful.
But there’s just too much of that big, boring tortilla. It needs a minute in the frying pan, or something, anything.
I can feel its dull dense bulk even now.
Bethan’s “BBQ” Pork Quesadilla were much better.
The tortillas had been flattened and grilled, which improved them no end.
And the pulled pork was excellent – soft, flavourful and with a rich sauce and a touch of cheese.
The rice was decent and the dips were OK.
Although still filling, this was a much better meal, and the only thing I would order off this menu.
Would I go back?
Mexican Monday is the poor relation to Steak and Fish days, in the same way Mexico is the poor relation to the US & Canada.
But it has the huge advantage of being dead cheap.
I had mine with a pint of hoppy and fruity “Make It Rain”, a collaboration between Adnams of Suffolk and Sixpoint of Brooklyn. Superb.
Bethan had a decent glass of merlot.
Where else are you getting an average meal (the quesadilla) and an above average drink for £6.39? Either here, or in 1992.
It’s a lazy effort done without flair, but if you’re passing and hungry, there are worse meals for more money out there.
Don’t make this your only experience of Mexican culture, however, or you’ll find yourself thinking that Trump and his pointy-hooded chums have a point.
This was the first time that our local branch seemed to be struggling.
No chilli on Mexican Monday, no pies for the table next to us, and staff admitted they were short-staffed.
There is also no sign of the enclosed conservatory in our Aberystwyth branch to stop diners being bombed by pigeons.
Wetherspoons have issued regular profit warnings, with concerns about decreasing consumer spending through 2017.
This is going to be an interesting year for the chain.